tv Bay Area Focus With Susan Sikora CW November 18, 2012 8:00am-8:30am PST
the san francisco food bank lost needed federal. that means an immediate challenge to make up the loss. hear how you can help. a local restaurant owner explains how he's helping kids in the tenderloin and india. and the san francisco game ends chorus takes santa and christmas carols over the musical top in a holiday
recently, the san francisco food bank lost some critical federal money. how are they closing the goop? let's ask paul ash, the director of san francisco food banks now merge. welcome back, paul. >> thank you. good morning. >> first of all, this is a second year in a row that you lost some money. it's not the major chunk of your budget, but it's still -- i would think every dollar means meals. what is going on? why the denials? >> well, it's crazy that only san francisco seems singled out, and we get a big goose egg, zero, whereas other counties that look similar demographically and geographically are getting funded. we don't understand it, we're asking our political figures to look into it and help us convince them whatever they have done with the formula, it's not working. >> you think it's because the bumps, perhaps artificially, of maybe young people doing well in silicon valley making us all
look richer than we are? >> that can happen. that can drive up the numbers but, unfortunately, doesn't pull along people at the bottom of the income scale. >> how bad are the numbers now. what are you see something. >> in san francisco, we have 200,000 people living at or near the poverty line n. marin county, it's 20, 50,000 people. >> everyone has a artificial notion. we're not. okay. >> it's a wealthy county but not universally so. >> okay. your numbers have not really increased. what about the fiscal cliff? everyone's talking about this right now as we take tape it, it's unsettled and i am sure it will be by the time it airs. it means that people's taxes may go up. people who can afford it and people who can't afford it and maybe they're at the edge already. do you assume that your lines may get longer if the fiscal cliff happens? >> if the -- if we go off of the fiscal cliff, it will definitely be a downward pressure on the whole economy and cuts in other programs. i believe the snap program, the food stamp program is fairly
well-protected but other programs like the commodity program, the wic program, they will take a haircut. >> and people missing something they thought they needed before. >> that's right. >> and are you accommodating to that? are you planning ahead and saying let's -- can you do that at this point? >> you can. >> the fema money? >> it's almost catastrophic. to plan for a catastrophe like that is not doable. >> if you went and sat down with somebody at fema, i assume that would be a hard conversation to have. >> uh. >> the denial came before send hit the east coast and they stretched. >> they busy and a blank wall. even our politicians tell us they're having a hard time getting information about how decisions are made there. >> okay. you are now and just started kicking off the food for bay areas family that you do every year. >> yeah. >> and holiday time. cbs 5 and cw are proud to be cosponsors again of that effort, chi think is more important than ever. you go to whole foods, how does it work? walk me through it. >> people can do one of two
things. they can purchase a bag premade and it literally will go out the door of the store to the food bank. another way, pick items in the store you that think people need, and we have sog-- suggest a list and suggestions, things like today that we like to see. we were talking earlier about the snack bars. this is something fairly new. we're providing 10,000 snacks in san francisco and marin schools now. >> the schools? kids are coming to school hungry. >> they come to school hungry. by snack time, the teacher needs a resource. so we provide fresh produce, oranges, bananas, apples, pears which parents can cut up at snack bars like this. granola bars. >> if i want to go through the market, i wouldn't. i would figure, i would give them the money, $10? >> yes. >> i figure you guys put in there what you know works best with your experience. >> right. >> and if i remember to go through the market, obviously, i am not going to pick out something perishable like ground meat and put it in
there. >> right or glass. >> okay. >> or plastic. >> aha. >> what about fresh vegetables and fruit. does that get to people? >> that doesn't work very well. we distribute 25 million pounds of fresh produce a year. we don't want it in barrels. we can't get it out 69-barrel fast enough. it may sit a week out of the store. >> exact limit. >> we want packaged goods in plastic and we want nutritious items. >> a lot of people are finding themselves newly in need and just to get food stamps. i read this on your website and couldn't believe it. you can make no more than, get this, 22,880. that is roughly $23,000. for a family of three. i would think a person alone would be almost at poverty level trying to make it in the san francisco bay area, paying a rent or probably not mortgage at that point, but a rent and try to do the cost-of-living
and transportation to get to and from, hopefully, a job. a lost people are working. >> the food stamp program in california is a program for the poor. >> and this goes through november 4th. i worry about programs on november-- like -- excuse me, on january 4th. and i worry about that on january 5th. >> that is always what we're doing, the same thing. we're not going to distribute all of the food destroy error -- food drive food before the holidays are over, we're going to have some of that. we're raising money now and we'll raise more than we will spend in this period of time, but it has to last us until the fund raising season next year. >> huh. >> and there is a lot going on. >> if someone needs help, how do they go through and get it? there is a lot of people, especially the first-time person going in. they're embarrassed and don't want to be seen by neighbors, i don't want to tell you i'm going in here or someone you
know there well after all -- after all. >> yeah. >> what is the process? >> the easiest way for people to get food assistance is call 211. >> 211. pick up the phone and call 211. >> exactly. we want to get people to the place closest to them, the time of the day and day of the week that works for them. we don't want it to be a headache and to get in the bus and go across town holding a child's hand. it doesn't need to be a hassle. >> okay. >> and this -- the food will continue. it's happening now through january 4th and just because you give, walk through whole foods and give them a check at the end, doesn't mean you can't do another donation. that is on the website as well. >> that's right. >> cw and cbs 5, of course, are co-sponsors of this with whole foods. it's food for bay area families now through january 4th. the number to call is 800-870- food. that is 870-food.
and the website is cbssf.com. that is our website as well. or can you go to bayarea or hunger.org. >> correct. >> and we gave you a lot of information there. i don't like to give too much, but this is important. anything that can you jot down, please do it and send them a check. if you can't do the $10, do $5 on the website. anything would help at this point. >> thank you, susan. >> thank you for doing this work, susan. >> stay with us, more ahead.
. okay, i'm getting hungry here now. meet chevron johnday. he owns the new delhi restaurant in downtown san francisco where award-winning indian cuisine has been pleasing palates and turning heads, including that of the new york times for almost 25 years. get this, the new deli restaurant is open until 2:00 a.m. to accommodate folks who work the night shift. there is even, i think, a happy hour starting at 11:00, second wine. good feature. ron john is the founder of the compassionate chef's cafe to help children in the tenderloin and in india. welcome. you brought food. >> thank you. thank you for having me. >> we like it when you bring food. thank you for being here. let's talk about this, first of
all. you started this compassionate chef cafe, what is this about? >> we're not one-dimensional anymore. i'm not just indian or american, but right across the street from new delhi restaurant and tenderloin, you have kids in the middle of drugs, crime, prostitution and gang. they don't feel like a global citizens. >> um. >> and we wanted to see how we can help across the street and then we talk like okay, we are global citizens. why don't we see how to spread that message to him. we looked at the heritage and picked a group of kids across from -- [ indiscernible ] in amedabad, 300 kids, and wanted to connect the two groups of kids. >> like the sister city kind of idea. >> exactly. >> yeah. okay. >> and you know what this is year, 16 of the kids came to seat the kids in tenderloin. >> no kidding.
>> and we have been, you know, like really helping them put together this dance drama called ekta, meaning oneness and that all human races run and this was the two-hour dance drama and we took over the hall. 2,000 suits were sold. >> and you're doing this fund raising event on november 18th, sunday, which is today and that is for the kids in the tenderloin and india. what happens at the fund raiser? >> this is the 25th anniversary of the restaurant. what better way to celebrate than to ask our scenters and friends and -- supporters and friends and family. >> what did die that -- they do? >> a pay-forward event and there is going to be dance and food and fun and we ask for a
$40 donation. and every cent raised goes to the tenderloin after school program so that we can then the group of kids. >> let me get this straight. you walk into the restaurant and there is no menu with prices. there is a feast set out. >> yes. >> and can you eat for free and what you're going to give is going to give to the kids in india and the tenderloin. >> yes, ma'em. >> nice idea. >> thank you. >> and that looks good. >> let's talk about the cuisine. 25 years you came here and you had a restaurant in india, yes? >> i work for many in india. >> uh-huh. >> and after that, i went to hong kong and i am married to this navy brat, a caucasian woman who i met in hong kong, codie and when we had our first
daughter sarah, we thought, well, i'm indian and she's caucasian american. >> uh-huh. >> and our kid won't feel indian american or chinese if they grew up in hong kong. >> uh. >> so that is when we decided to look around and we fell in love with san francisco. >> you don't have to tell us why. and the question is, how did you know that indian cuisine, right now, indian everything is hot. you have baliwood, the indian restaurants going and that is there the movies, everything. how did you know this would take off? that was the chance, you bringing the family here and starting from scratch with a cuisine that may noton every street corner. >> absolutely. >> and we went to many places. however, san francisco we felt
has that global heritage, you know. and this is where the '60s movement started, which is so connected with india as well, you know. >> uh-huh. >> and so i felt in san francisco people would be coming from all over the world. >> uh. >> second, people here are very intelligent. they have room for everybody else's idea and their own. >> yeah. >> and, therefore, they are adventurous when it comes to cuisine. >> i think it's more interesting and less boring if you open yourself up to other ethnicities and cut ours. apparently i'm not alone. you have had some famous people come to that restaurant. deepock el cajonra. >> -- d epook chopra. president clinton? >> yes. >> can you talk about it? >> he was there many times running to be president. >> uh. >> this is the place he selected to meet all of the indians of the bay area.
>> of course everyone, at all of the indians are there, a $2,000-a-plate fund raiser. >> yeah. >> and my daughter is, what, 4 1/2 years old? and we have always raised her to ask whatever is in her mind. >> uh. >> she's like who is he, dad? it's like a race. he wants to be our president. so everybody's here to ask questions she's like i can ask him something, to? >> what did she ask? >> she pulled on his coat and sleeve and said can i ask you something. so he sat down to her level. >> uh-huh. >> and she asked do you like broccoli? >> george bush didn't. >> and she loved broccoli. >> bush has four kids. how old is show now? >> she is 26 and at this event on the 18th. >> uh. >> i am having the mayor come
back. he's the one who inaugurated the restaurant and sarah was in his lap. >> oh, my goodness. i hope you have pictures and stuff to show. >> and now sarah has a son, five months ole, and i want her to hold -- . >> there you go. >> justin. >> and -- that is coming. >> okay. >> i thank you for this. >> okay. thank you. >> what a lovely thing to open your restaurant and heart to help kids here and abroad and connect them. that is where i think you go the extra mile, too and don't worry about this lovely food. to help, the event is today, november 18th. you can go to the new delhi restaurant. it's on 160 ellis street in san francisco and compassionatechefs.org is the website. if you can't get there, you can donate. and new delhi restaurant.com is the place to check out if you can't get there today to check
. >> okay, welcome back. if you're going the fund raiser today, i can tell you that at the new delhi restaurant, the stuff that i tried here was fabulous and it's going to be there. i asked. it's on the menu. enough said. the san francisco gay men's chorus has been singing for 34 years this month. their upcoming holiday santa concert is described as, quote, over 250 gay men in red suits
celebrating the quintessential icon of the season, santa claus. take a look. [ singing ] [ singing ] >> oh, my gosh. the core youngrafy involve side like the rockettes. it's all also for a good cause. here with details is the san francisco gay men's chorus music director, dr. timothy selig. welcome. >> thank you so much. >> can i call you tim? >> you sure can. >> okay, first of all, this is for a make a wish foundation? >> it is.
the concert at davies is for make a wish foundation. >> we'll give you the information on that and that is december 6th. >> sure. >> and how did you connect with them? >> turns out that one of our singers, when he was a child, a young boy, had a terminal illness. make a wish foundation sent him to disneyland as his big wish and survivedas cancer and is singing in the chorus. the night of the concert, he will present the check to make a wish. >> okay. >> you have the santa concert? >> we do. >> okay, 250 men in red suits. >> correct. >> all matching and singing. >> yes, that is correct. they're sort of matching. yeah, i am sure they'll be bedazzling behind the scenes. >> who came up with this? how does it affect the music? >> we're doing the icons and this season, harvey milk and beach bible baba lon.
we looked at san francisco as an icon. 50,000 people go out in the streets as santa and and thought we can do the same thing. >> uh. >> we're all dressing as santa. >> okay. >> we should say this group has been around singing beautiful music for there are years. >> correct. >> the first performance, if you will, was ad-libbed. >> it was. >> they were planning to rehearse. >> that's correct. >> the night in november no one 78. >> correct. >> the first performance happened on the steps of city hall. what happened? >> it was four weeks, they were rehearsing for four weeks and sort of a rag tag group. >> how many? >> about 100 in the beginning. >> uh-huh. >> and on the fourth monday of the rehearsal was the day that mayor masconi and harvey milk were as sayinated. rather than rehearse, they went to the steps and they said you need to sing and so they invited them up to the steps and the first performance was that night. >> okay, the gay community's been politically actively, certainly. >> yes. >> and have to be, many people would tell you, for good reasons. >> absolutely. >> how do you balance great
music and political activism? >> good for you. great question. it's a constant balancing act because we're activists through through our music. >> uh-huh. >> and we work hard to make the musical equality of the best that we can. >> yeah. >> and it's a constant balance between making sure that we are sensitive to our community and making enload roads and singing beautifully. >> all right, you have 250 voices in here. >> i do. >> you have a ph.d in music. >> yes. >> if i read them your resume, you wouldn't have time for anything else. >> go ahead go ahead. >> no, really. you conduct to other place. you're going to china and australia next year? >> that's correct. >> you're not exclusively doing this but doing this for two years? >> that's correct. >> how do you decide? do you audition everyone personally and what if someone comes to you and says where's a nice guy and he will help and he's nice. >> i don't want this to be painful for you because i understand you were a music major at one point.
>> yes. >> one year. >> and there are ways to gently help people to drama. to change their major or play in the band. >> uh-huh. >> usher is a good word. >> it's hard to, you know, someone comes and you want to be in the chorus. that is what you do. >> it's very hard. we have a lot of opportunities for people who don't sing to usher to help and to be a part of the coreus and what we do without -- chorus and what we do without singing. yes, it's very hard. >> how many original members are still there? >> there are a handful of singers still singing after 34 years. it's pretty amazing. >> uh-huh. >> and what is your most affective message in the sense that, you know, music is the universal language. >> right. >> what is the message now? there is a lot going on. >> the message, really, for us is -- and people ask always, one of the questions that we get ask side why a gay men's chorus. the answer is when there is no more discrimination, when young men are not thrown out of their communities and their families,
maybe there won't need to be a gay men's chorus anymore. we're so far from there. >> uh-huh. >> maybe another need then. i think you have to keep the music going. >> absolutely. >> all right, i'm saying that if someone's in the audience. for more information about the upcoming christmas concert, visit sfgmc.org. that is sfgmc.org. tim, we want to thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> we leave you now with another look at the san francisco gay men's chorus. i'm susan sikora, thank you for watching. [ singing ] peace on earth and mercy, mild, god and sinner reconciled. joyful all ye nations on join the triumph of the skies with angelic host proclaim, christ is born in bethlehem. hark the herald angels sing,